Archive for August, 2011

Workin’ Wednesdays: WordPress 3.2.1 Almost Killed This Blog

I spent the better part of the weekend trying to recover from a blog crash due to a WordPress 3.2.1 upgrade. I wanted to share this info for anyone else who may be experiencing the same issues.

Here’s what was happening on the backend in the dashboard:

-Unable to tag blogs. The tagging feature would cause my browser to refresh or it would just bump me right out of the post.

-The insert photo button wasn’t working. I had to use “<img src=””>”, and do it the old fashioned html way FOR EVERY FREAKING PHOTO!!!

-The categories weren’t always working properly

-I couldn’t insert url’s either.

Now here’s what was happening on the front end for the viewers:

-Every single post link was broken and viewers were receiving a 404 error for “file not found.”

So much for a blog.

Here’s what I ultimately did to fix it.

Try changing themes

The broken link issue seemed to be theme related after some trouble shooting. I was using a very old version of ADSimple, which I had pimped out with CSS and plugins. I changed my theme and modified this one. I plan to redo the header once my body has recovered from the lack of sleep this crash caused.

Upgrade Disqus and All Other Active Plugins

The dashboard issues ultimately came down to a stupid Disqus upgrade after all that. So before you learn three different coding languages like I did, be sure to update/upgrade your Disqus plugin. That may be all that is necessary.

Install the Health Check Plugin

I did research and find that it is imperative that you are running a compatible version of PHP and MySQL. Install the Health Check plugin to make sure you are compatible. There was a JSON issue floating around. Also, see WordPress 3.2 minimum requirements.

That is all. I hope this helps you. If not, happy searching. 🙂

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Tuesdays With Mooch & Fuss: Back to School For 1

Mooch is all jazzed to head back to school on the 7th. In this video, she shares about her supplies.

Fuss has already gone back to school — homeschool that is. We started Monday with a rich Montessori curriculum, and she’s enjoying every moment. I guess she was bored all summer. :-/

Anyway, her favorite activities are transferring water from one container to another using a sponge, pouring and scooping grains, and ordering the numbers 1-10 (a precursor to the 100 board). She stays focused for super long during each activity, and I share vocabulary throughout.

Fuss knows the alphabet, but hasn’t shown much interest in the sounds yet — only the shapes of them. She gravitates towards puzzles and practical activities. She enjoys stacking her blocks and sorting shapes and colors. She doesn’t always say the correct names of colors, but she definitely likes putting the correct ones together.

I am also keeping this log at teachingfuss.tumblr.com with many more pictures than the one you see below.

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Marital Mondays: Don’t Let Money Get You Down

School is starting back, which is fun for the kids, but if your child goes to private school it can leave you drowning in a sea of tuition payments. When all the summer fun winds down and you’re on a tighter budget and a tighter schedule, it can cause a serious case of marital drama.

Money for you, money for me, and money for us

I don’t believe in joint accounts. My parents didn’t have them, and they rarely argued about money. Hannibal and I have separate accounts and we have them linked for transfers.

One partner’s debt belongs to the other

If you went to college, you have debt. As a matter of fact, if you’re over 25, you likely have debt of some sort. Playing the blame game can lead to fighting and, moreover, it won’t eliminate the debt. Come up with a plan. Tackle it together.

No financial secrets!

All big purchases should be discussed with your partner before hand. I learned this one the hard way. I had quite a bit of Paypal dough from my design business(which adds even another separate account), so I bought a bike for Mooch (which turned out to be too big, but that’s a different story). When Hannibal found out the bike was $350 plus $50 to have it assembled, he was not happy! I didn’t have any secretive intentions, but he felt left out or like the money should have been spent differently. There haven’t been any large purchases since, but in the future, I will definitely discuss them first.

Choose joy, but plan for the worst.

Every family should have three months of living expenses saved up. Anything could happen! You don’t want an illness, accident or pink slip to catch you off guard. We have a tendency to dip into savings, so I started a money-market account. Get one.

Budget together and discuss the money bi-weekly.

Sit down together and plan out the money. Even if only one of you is the brains of the operation, you both need to know what’s in each account, what came out and why.

It’s frustrating to talk about money. Don’t do it every week, and don’t do it in front of the kids. The last one is a note to self. Mooch knows way too much about our finances, and it’s my fault. I’m a work in progress.

Donate together.

Money is currency, and “Gimme stops the cycle.” What goes around comes around. It’s important give back. I know you’re thinking, “We’re in a recession. I’m broke. I have nothing to give.” If you sacrifice your morning latte for one day, you can donate $3-5 to a kickstarter account of your choice. Most non-profits will tell you that no amount is too small. Find something you both like and give back to it.

Don’t sell your kidney overseas just yet.

I scoured the internet this weekend looking for opportunities to bring in extra dough. Here’s what I found:

Tutor a rich kid
Teach a language
Do internet research for people
Run Errands
Become a life coach
Set up a garden for someone
Fix computers
Bake and sell to local coffee shops
Babysit
Pet Sit
Sell things on Ebay
Make and sell on Etsy

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Thematic Thursdays: Get Outta My Way Bicycles!!


Have you noticed an abundance of bikes on the road since gas prices shot up to “Oh crap, gasoline hates my existence?” I have too, and a lot of the time, they are in my way. It’s already difficult enough to tell what other drivers are thinking, and they have signals, brake lights, and reverse lights. A bicyclist is just a person on a moving object, who is liable to do anything — including cross over three lanes of traffic to make a left turn (True story. Welcome to Santa Monica).

I looked around the net to find some cool gear that bike riders can use to help drivers not have a conniption and also not kill them. Here’s what I found. Unfortunately most of it is future technology.

PROJECT AURA

Imagine if a cyclist did have brake lights. Project Aura sort of provides that in addition to make cyclists more visible.

We accomplished this by expanding the surface area of light emitted through the use of RGB LEDs inside the rims of the wheels that change from red when slowing down to white when at cruising speed.

Though the product makes the peddler more visible to others, it doesn’t replace the headlight needed to help the rider see.

Project Aura: Bicycle Safety Lighting System from Project AURA on Vimeo.

BLINK HELMET

Turn signals, brake lights, and a head light all in a helmet. Win!!! Except this bike safety technology hasn’t technically been created yet.



THE INTERSECTOR

Once the “Intersector” is universal, cyclists will be a lot safer.

Pleasanton is the only city in the nation using a new radar-type device to make street crossings safer for bikers. The city began testing the “Intersector” — a microwave motion and presence sensor — for that use in January 2010 at one of its 104 signaled intersections. The device monitors the intersection and can differentiate between vehicles and bicyclists crossing the road and either extends or triggers the light if a cyclist is detected.

If none of this works or is affordable, dude, there’s always putting out your damn arm like motorists do when their lights are out. #imjustsayin

In the event that no bike riders read this blog, and we hit them and they’ve “fallen and they can’t get up,” there’s always this helmet that will call the paramedics upon impact.

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Workin’ Wednesdays: Work Harder


“I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented, where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic. While the other guy is sleeping, I’m working. While the other guy is eating, I’m working.” Will Smith

I can so relate to Will Smith with this quote. Freelancing is hard work. Add to that a seven-year-old with her own career and a demanding toddler, and I have pretty much kissed sleeping goodbye. I may regret it when my face starts to show it, but I’m enjoying the success so I’m going to keep at it.

My customers are happy, and so is my family. About 1/3 of my clients are referrals, 1/3 are repeats, and the other third is a mix of Googlers, job boards, and other freelancers. Pleasing the customer is important, because they often come back for repeat business right when a bill is due or business is slow. I’m always grateful for that.

Even when there is no work, I work.  When work is thin, I use it as an opportunity to redesign my own portfolio, e-blast former clients, or create family stuff for fun. Another thing, which I learned from a photographer friend of mine, is that during down time is a great time to offer pro-bono work. It sounds crazy, right? When you give people things for free, however, they’re more likely to support your business in the future. Also, you have another project to add to your portfolio and publicize on Facebook. This reminds people what you do and keeps them associating your name with your field.

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